Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Niantic, CT

Parked next to the Ford and Chevy seen in an earlier post was this interesting car.  I had never seen anything like it before.  It's a Kaiser-Darrin, the first car made in the US with an all fiber glass body.  I think only about 400 or so were made, and perhaps there are 350 known to exist.  It's not a car one would see every day.


  1. Ed, the first car I ever drove was a fiberglass body sports car called a Muntz Jet which featured a Cadillac V-8 engine and transmission. It was designed and built by Mr. Muntz, a family friend, popularly known as Mad Man Muntz which as part of an ad campaign in Chicago to sell TVs that he manufactured. He had me drive his personal car to a party where my parents were, and had me circle the driveway while he went in to show my Dad I was driving. I was about ten years old, and it freaked my Dad out. He though I was going to crash this fancy, expensive, sports car, but I didn't.

    I've seen Kaiser-Darrins, but not for about 50 years.

    1. That's a great story, Jeff. So would the Muntz Jet pre-date the Kaiser-Darrin? If I read the sign correctly next to the car, I think it said the Kaiser-Darrin was the first, and I think it might have been made sometime in the 50's. I'm glad the photo brought back some nice memories for you.

    2. The Kaiser-Darrin and the Muntz Jet were build about the same time. The Muntz Jet's dates were 1951-54, so it may have overlapped a year or two. There is a Muntz connection to the Kaiser-Darrin in that Earl Muntz was a Kaiser-Frazer dealer for a while, and may have sold some Kaiser-Darrins. Cadillac cut off his engine supply in 1952 and he switched to Lincoln engines, apparently with Ford's blessing. Ford bought a couple Muntz Jets and may have influenced the design of Thunderbird which came out in 1955. The Muntz Jet was the first production car to come with seat belts, but this was another Earl "Madman" Muntz publicity stunt. He suggested in ads that the Muntz Jet was as fast as a jet plane and needed seat belts. Had little to do with safety.